This season marks a new season for the NY (NJ) Jets and the Buffalo Bills.
The reason I say new season is because both have rookie QBS. There will also be a “soap opera” at this game as well. The question is who will steal the show?
As everyone knows the Buffalo Bills Def Coord Mike Pettine worked under Rex Ryan for a number of years before leaving the coop. Pettine is a “all style defense” guy and love him or hate him Rex Ryan has a really good defensive mind. There will be almost a teacher/student vibe going on at Sundays 4:25 game at the Metlife Arena.
Both Buffalo and Jets are meeting each other at a 1-1 record both recording narrow losses to the New England Patriots (Buffalo 21-23, Jets 10-13) and wins outside the division. Both teams need the win to stay competitive and not let New England and Miami get too far ahead in the pack who are both 2-0 currently although New Englands loss can happen at any time if the last 2 weeks are any indication of future play.
What has kept the Jets and Buffalo in both these games are the defenses. This is why i said it was going to be a teacher/student game rather than the Bills vs Jets.
The difference maker in this game WILL be the QB and how well the offensive lines hold up.
Robert Woods and Stevie Johnson have stepped up and seem to be getting a rhythm going with the young QB. Scott Chandler seems to be getting more comfortable as well.
E.J. Manuel (16th pick FIRST Round) has quite a bit of momentum going into this game. With last weeks comeback Manuel has done something no Bills ROOKIE qb has done since 1970 and that has go into week 3 with a passer rating of over 80. Manuel currently enters with a 95.9 rating. So getting that honor, the last minute win he also achieved the AFC rookie of the week. This kid has to be flying pretty high right now and alot of confidence going into this game.
Also between the last two games he has gone 45 for 66 attempts for 3 touchdowns and one int.
Manuel has a good coach in Marrone who is gradually breaking Manuel in with simpler plays so this does play a factor but it is Manuels ability to change the call when needed is what makes him play much better than the rookie he is perceived to be.
Then theres Geno Smith..
Geno Smith (39th pick 2nd round) did not do well in training camp and was thrust into the starting position. Unlike the Manuel who was a lock to start (even with the signing of Kolb) the idea for the Jets was to have Mark Sanchez start (and he was going to start until the Rex Ryan blunder)
Smiths stats compared to Manuels are less than spectacular
Over two games Smith is 39 for 73 1 fumble, 4 ints 1 touchdown and a rating of 55.2….OUCH!!! But to Smith’s defense he is a rookie who’s maturity could be hindering him. This a guy who fired his agent because he didn’t get picked in first round. He makes many poor decisions. Which Buffalo WILL capitalize on. Maybe Rex is kicking himself now for playing Sanchez in the final preseason game because as bad as Sanchez was/is, Sanchez at least has an idea (although not a big idea) what is going on.
Geno Smith also does not do well under pressure. He panics and he panics big time. Buffalo will be having a field day with this. Just ask Cam Newton.
We see who the better coach/qb are. Pretty obvious when looking at stats.
So what do I think will happen?
As long as E.J. plays the leader like he has been doing very well last 2 weeks and if Buffalo’s defense can pick up the slack that Manuel will definitely have (As good as E.J. is i still realize he is going to make many mistakes) I am predicting that Buffalo will be picking up their first division win.
I also predict that Mario Williams and Da’Norris Searcy will be getting quite a few sacks on Smith. Williams-3 and Searcy with 2 sacks.
Final score Bills 24-Jets 13
EJ Manuel 2 tds 0 sacks 1 int
Geno Smith 1 td 5 sacks 2 ints and possibly a Butt Fumble as a tribute to Mark Sanchez so he doesn’t feel left out.